PHS lists top spots

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Medical problems are only one hurdle for families raising children with special needs. It can be just as challenging to find places to play, shop and eat that not only accommodate wheelchairs and other medical devices but welcome them as part of an inclusive atmosphere.

Pediatric Home Services, a children’s home healthcare company in Minnesota, is trying to make the search easier with its inaugural PHS Top Spots, an online guide featuring the most accessible recreation areas, welcoming downtowns and helpful parenting resources in the state. The guide, https://www.pediatrichomeservice.com/phs-top-spots/, includes 20 categories with nominations coming from PHS families and local partners.

Dana Johnson, marketing manager for PHS, which serves children in Minnesota, western Wisconsin, northern Iowa and eastern North and South Dakota, said the guide, the first of its kind in the state, helps fill a need for accessible recreational opportunities for children with complex medical needs.

“That’s what PHS is all about—keeping families in their community,” Johnson said. “A list like this is screaming to be created.”

It took about six months to develop the list and solicit categories and nominations from families and nonprofit partners, Johnson said. Categories include active lifestyle, local getaways and dining and shopping.

To help spread the word, PHS developed window clings and promotional materials to be used by the winners selected in the guide. Katlyn Bourget, a digital specialist with PHS, said the response from the recognized organizations as well as parents has been overwhelmingly positive. 

For now, the Top Spots guide offers inclusive opportunities just in Minnesota, but the hope is to expand it to other locations in the future.

“It’s also an empowerment tool. One thing that PHS works hard to do is empower our families to feel good about themselves when they’re out and about,” Johnson said. “A fringe benefit of this is saying, ‘Yes, you can do this and here’s all the places you can go.’”